Women On Death Row Essay

2998 words - 12 pages

Through our history men have been the more violent of our species. Our Prisons hold such criminals as Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, and the son of Sam. Today there is a growing trend in our nation's prisons; a small percent of women are being held on death row and this paper will hypothesize how they got there. This paper is to explore and prove that women who kill do so because of abuse endured at home, severe drug abuse, or just total desperation. The author of this paper will be expressing on fact and case history as well as those whom do not agree.Abuse at home is normally hidden from the neighbors and family members; this paper will now discuss just how abuse at home can develop into a much larger tragic life changing moment. Andrew Beck the author of "Violence and the Family. Report of the American Psychological Claims "Substance abuse as well as phyical [sic] abuse is implicated in the histories and capital offenses of a significant proportion of death row inmates.(Beck et al) A sizeable percentage of the death row participants in these studies reported histories of substance abuse in the community, and many were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of their capital offenses a finding consistent with research on substance abuse among incarcerated homicide offenders." (Beck et al). According to the Women's International Network News, every nine seconds in the U.S. a man abuses his female intimate partner. Sexual, physical, and emotional abuses are often ignored by authorities when they occur within the home. This forces women to defend themselves or their children, sometimes by murdering their abusive partner. It was not until the 1990s that the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged Battered Woman's Syndrome as a legal defense for murder. Still today battered women who kill their abusive partner sit in jails and on death row. At the time many of these women were tried, the court did not permit their testimony of torment and abuse to be taken into account at their trials. "The juries were not aware of the vicious beatings, the rapes, the threats of harm and death and the extensive and ongoing emotional and mental battering these women experienced," writes Jelenic. "Two things that the patriarchy does to enslave women that are effective, one are isolation and the other-silence. Between these two things, we are disconnected and we don't have access to our own power," writes Jelenic. In the U.S. media, when a woman is convicted of murder, it is often portrayed as exceptionally shocking. When a mother kills her children, the public is outraged. Yet the fact that hundreds of women and children are abused and killed by men every day does not ignite the same outrage. Women account for 13% of all arrests in the United States, yet they represent almost 44% of all murder victims. On the whole, women are by far less violent than men in our society. In fact, women are much more likely to be the victims of male violence rather than...

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